Stillwater, OK (December 13, 2016) –The Stillwater Public School district was honored Tuesday during the Board of Education meeting for efforts to improve health through the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) Healthy School District Incentive Grant program.
To receive the $20,000 incentive grant, Stillwater Public Schools put a variety of policies and strategies in place to promote health and wellness for students and staff. The district will use grant funds to purchase hydration stations for multiple school sites across the district to ensure students, faculty and staff have access to fresh, clean drinking water.
Members of the Stillwater Public Schools Board of Education and Superintendent Dr. Marc Moore were presented with a plaque and big check by TSET Director of Programs Jonás Mata and TSET Healthy School Incentive Grant Program Manager Sharon Howard. Sen. Tom Dugger was also on hand for the presentation.
Stillwater Public Schools Child Nutrition Director Krista Neal and school nurses Kira Frisby and Amy Spiva and representatives from the TSET Healthy Living Program serving Payne County through the OSU Seretean Wellness Center also participated in the recognition.
The Healthy School District Incentive Grant criteria focus on strengthening district wellness policies to improve school nutrition, increase physical activity, student wellbeing and provide tobacco-free environments for students, staff, faculty and families. These health-promoting practices and policies are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“These grants recognize the efforts of schools and school districts that are actively promoting healthy lifestyles. Studies show that active, healthy kids perform better in school,” said TSET Executive Director John Woods. “Habits formed early last a lifetime, and we want to recognize schools that are making the healthy choice the easy choice for students, staff and the community.”
Incentive grants for school districts are based on enrollment and strategies implemented. Grant funds may be used for projects that advance health. TSET offers incentive grants to school districts that have schools sites that have been recognized as a Certified Healthy Schools as part of the Certified Healthy Oklahoma program and have met TSET incentive grant criteria. Certified Healthy Oklahoma is a partnership between the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, the Oklahoma Turning Point Council, the State Chamber and the Oklahoma State Department of Health.
“Stillwater Public Schools is committed to helping students and staff learn, establish, and maintain lifelong wellness patterns” said Kira Frisby, school nurse at Stillwater Public Schools. “Each step the district takes that promotes wellness can help improve the health of students and staff not only by educating them about the importance of healthy behaviors, but by implementing policies that promote these behaviors.”
The TSET Healthy Living Program serving Payne County through the OSU Seretean Wellness Center works to prevent and reduce obesity and tobacco use in schools, community organizations, worksites, and local governments. Staff collaborate with community champions across all sectors and throughout the county in order to make Payne County a healthier place to live, learn, work, and play. Stillwater Public Schools and their investment in health is an integral part of Payne County becoming a healthier county.
TSET was created by a constitutional amendment in 2000 as a long term strategy to improve health and ensure settlement payments from a 1998 multi-state lawsuit against the tobacco industry are used to improve the health of all Oklahomans. The funds are placed in an endowment to ensure a growing funding source for generations to come. Only the earnings from the endowment are used to fund grants and programs.
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The Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET) serves as a partner and bridge builder for organizations working towards shaping a healthier future for all Oklahomans. TSET provides leadership at the intersections of health by working across the state, by cultivating innovative and life-changing research, and by working across public and private sectors to develop, support, implement and evaluate creative strategies to take advantage of emerging opportunities to improve the public's health.
TSET. Better Lives Through Better Health.